People at school are always surprised when I tell them I do taekwondo with Fight for Peace. But now I have a green belt and I help coach!
What I really like about it is learning self-defense. You can protect yourself on the road like a lot of times I have to use it at my school, Camperdown High School.
Students that are bigger than me sometimes think that they can boss me around and when they do certain things to me, then I use my technique to defend myself.
Protection from bullying
Mostly it was the boys who thought that I was lying about my taekwondo so I brought my trophy to school to show them. They still didn’t believe me so I told them, ‘Look pan it, a my name on it!’
I’ve brought other kids to Fight for Peace like Teshawn (in photo), but sometimes the war in the community means they can’t always come to sessions.
For me the war doesn’t impact my life too much because I don’t really go out. My mom is really excited about me being with Fight for Peace as she’s always pushing me to do new things.
Sabrina is such a boss. We call her ‘Sub Zero’ because she is so level-headed, strong, smart and if I ever run late she can take the class. I really want her to get her back belt so she can become the taekwondo coach for Fight for Peace in Parade Gardens. – Akino Lindsay, Fight for Peace taekwondo coach and world champion.
Coaching other children
I train three days a week after school and my coach Akino has helped me a lot. He has taught me how to lead a class and be a leader. He pushed me further to work harder on my techniques.
Coaching is a little stressful sometimes. Sometimes you’re telling students to pay attention and they don’t pay attention. I keep on snapping my fingers or even have to turn them when they’re looking over at the boxing class!
I try to motivate them, like I tell them that they can also reach my level if they pay attention in class.
One time there was this girl and I asked her to do the demonstration and she did it but she didn’t do it well, and I know she could do it. So I talk to her and say you are the leader now – I am just the coach, but you are the leader!
World champion goal
My goal is to be like my coach and fight to become a world champion like Akino. In ten years time I want to be working as a coach.
I would say to other parents to send their children because they really need the help in protecting themselves, because they are picked on by bullies, so I would tell their parents to send their kids to the class so they can learn some self defence.
Every child should be able to do this. It’s amazing to be able to protect ourselves and to go to competitions and win gold medals!
Fulfilling children’s rights is at the heart of what we do at UNICEF. This year, as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, we feature a special ‘30 under 30’ series, highlighting amazing Jamaican children and youth like Sabrina who are using their skills and talents to help protect and realise the rights of other young citizens. The focus of the series is on efforts to protect children from violence.